Friday, December 21, 2007


That night when in Judean skies the mystic star dispensed its light,
a blind man moved in his sleep- and dreamed that He had sight.
That night when shepherds heard the song of hosts angelic choiring near,
a deaf man stirred in slumber’s spell- and dreamed that he could hear.
That night when in the cattle stall slept child and mother cheek by jowl,
a cripple turned his twisted limbs- and dreamed that he was whole.
That night when o'er the newborn babe the tender Mary rose to lean,
a loathsome leper smiled in sleep- and dreamed that he was clean.
That night when to a mother's breast the little King was held secure,
a harlot slept in happy sleep- and dreamed that she was pure.
That night when in the manger lay the sanctified who came to save,
 a man moved in the sleep of death- and dreamed there was no grave.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Who made this print?

Any animal trackers out there who would like to tell me what animal made these prints?  This was taken along the Payette River in the mountains not too far from Boise, ID in late Oct.

At first my husband thought this was possibly two feet together of a smaller animal  that made this impression.  But when I showed him the prints in the mud of the next picture and how they are the same size as this one and the spread between them, he thought maybe his initial hunch of a smaller animal was incorrect.

You can see two prints in this shot, one at the bottom, middle.  The next print is 3/4 to the top, center.  These prints were right in line w/ the first shot.

Anyone want to take a stab at what animal had passed by not too far ahead of us?

12 Days of Christmas

Someone on the FIAR Message Boards posted this today.  It's so good, I had to share it.  Make sure you turn off the Christmas songs on the right side of the blog.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas 1997


This Christmas was our first Christmas in Ohio and our first Christmas as parents.

Our first born was just two months old for her first Christmas.  I don't think she remembers much about this particular holiday.

The tree for this year was special in the way we brought it home.  The neighborhood we lived in had a Catholic school that backed into it.  This school would sell Christmas trees out of their parking lot as a fund raiser.  I had always romanticized the movies where you see the main characters walking to the Christmas lot and carrying their trees home.  They look so happy and blissful.   I had the bright idea that this Christmas, instead of driving over to the tree lot, let's just walk.

Getting to the tree lot wasn't a problem at all.  We bundled our munchkin up, layered warm clothes on ourselves and headed out to the lot.  Once we picked our tree, purchased it and wrapped it up, we began the process of walking home.

It wasn't anything like what I saw in the movies.  I think the actors must have someone helping them.   It was cold, cold, cold and the tree was heavy and wet.  I was holding our munchkin while Mark carried, dragged the tree home.  I finally bent down and picked up the one end holding onto Munchkin w/ the other arm, just to get home faster!

Once we were home, I did my things with the lights (I'll spare you reiterating my "love" for lights), decorated the tree and swore we would never walk to a tree lot again! LOL

Sunday, December 9, 2007

My 6 yo's joke

Why did they name the scooters, Razor's?

Because they make sharp turns.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Gabriel Appears to Mary


My 10 year old drew this picture this evening before bed.  She said she especially likes how Mary is startled and dropped the food when the angel appears. LOL

Friday, December 7, 2007

Christmas Tree 1995

This Christmas tree story tells the tale of our first Christmas as a married couple.

The Year of the 'Nexus' Christmas

Not only did December 1995 mark our first year of being a married couple, it also marked our last year living in Washington state.  Mark was finishing his residency at UW and had accepted a Fellowship position at UVA in Charlottesville, VA.  We wanted to make this Christmas extra special as we celebrated as newlyweds and began the hard process of saying goodbye to our treasured friends.  We decided a Christmas party would be a nice way to accomplish both goals.

Our apartment had these wonderful windows on either side of our fireplace, along with a large window over by the dining area.  Our apartment was positioned on the back corner of the complex and our balcony overlooked a grassy area and the tallest fir trees I have ever seen.  It was beautiful. 

Greenery in Seattle was plentiful and cheap.  At Fred Meyer's you could purchase fir garland for something like 10 cents a yard.  We bought enough fresh greenery to drape around our windows, fireplace mantle and the balcony railings, in back and out front by the stairs.  I also lined the stairs (outdoors of course) leading up to our apartment with luminaries.

We hung our two stockings on the mantle along w/ some other Christmas decorations, put a log in the fireplace, lit all the candles and log.  It was beautiful.

For our party, we sent out invitations to our closest friends and prepared a feast for them.  I don't remember everything that we made, but we made a lot of yummy food, and nothing was left.  I also prepared stockings for all of our guests.  I filled them with homemade bread and freezer jam, mittens and other goodies especially picked for each individual.  I laid all the stockings out, with care, awaiting the arrival of our guests.

When everyone came we ate, drank, chatted, laughed and played games.  It was an incredible evening of cozy friendship. 

One of the couples that came, we also would go to the movies with often.  We had recently been to see Star Trek Generations with them, in which "The Nexus" played a huge role in the film.  Our friends told us they felt like they had walked into the Nexus.  If you haven't seen this particular movie, The Nexus is a place where your hearts desires are met and you live your life in this place that doesn't really exist but everything about it feels like it is real.  The pull for the Nexus is strong and once you enter the Nexus, you have no desire to leave.

Our camera's flash was broken so I had asked a couple of my friends to bring their camera's along to take some pictures.  Two of our friends did indeed bring their cameras, but the pictures didn't turn out.  It confirmed our belief that we had entered, if not the Nexus, than some other place that couldn't be captured in film.  It was a place that can only live on in our memories.



Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Christmases Past


Ah, ChristmasTrees. 

I love the sparkling lights and colorful decorations of Christmas trees.  As I was reading the story on my friend Jen's blog the other day of their experiences with their first live Christmas tree, it brought back memories of trees I've had from Christmases past.  I thought I'd share some of my trees with you all and the stories that accompany them.  Isn't it funny that Christmas Trees have a way of marking time and each one has a story to tell?

Here's my first story to share with you. 

The year of my Chubby & Tubby Christmas tree

The year was 1993.  I lived alone in an apartment in the Ballard area of Seattle, WA.  Seattle is an expensive city and my paycheck was small, so I budgeted my money carefully. 

There was this all purpose/hardware type store on Aurora Avenue  Every area has an Aurora Avenue.  It's typically a street that's part of a State Highway system that has since been by-passed by Interstates.  The businesses along these routes tend to cater to specific needs.  You'll see lot after lot of used car sales with their ribbons flapping in the breeze.  Businesses in non-descript low buildings that, unless you care to look at the sign, you have no idea of what their purpose is or who works behind the closed doors.  Billboards that dwarf the long line of single story buildings that was the main-stay of the city years long since past.  Along such a street in Seattle, there stood Chubby & Tubby.  A mish mosh store of odds and ends.  They sold all sorts of things, cheap.

Christmas at Chubby & Tubby's was no different.  They brought out bows and ribbons, lights and electrical cords, ornaments and stockings.  All sorts of Christmasey decorations, including, fresh cut Christmas Trees. 

Imagine my delight when I first heard about the $5.00 Chubby & Tubby Christmas Tree.  I drove my little car over to the store and looked through their assortment of trees.  After looking through the various sizes (they sold more than just the $5.00 trees) I picked out my tree.  My $5.00 Christmas tree.  Someone had purchased a saw, at Chubby & Tubby of course, and in true Christmas spirit, helped me cut the end off and wrap my tree up.  Because, at $5.00 a tree, Chubby & Tubby wasn't offering any help. :-)  After paying for my tree, and the worlds smallest tree stand, I shoved my little tree into my trunk, tied down the back and headed back to set my little tree up in my apartment.

One of my biggest problems with Christmas tree decorating is the lights.  It's a problem because I'm anal about them.  I cannot put the lights on and have cords showing.  It bugs me beyond reason and sanity.  When I put lights on a tree, I'm wrapping every branch, in and out, in and out until the entire tree is covered in lights, my arms are scratched from the needles and my mood has gone from Christmas cheer to Christmas gloom.  But once it's done and I plug in the cord(s), oh bliss.  The glow of the Christmas tree's lights melt away the frustration of placing the lights just so.  Fortunately, with this tree, the branches are so sparse, weaving the lights in and out was easily achieved without too many scratches. 

At first, as you can see in the picture, I decorated w/ lights and a box of candy canes, later in the week, I received a box from my Mom that contained all my Christmas decorations and ornaments from home.  I spent that night decorating my little Christmas tree with all my memories from home. 

So that is the story of my Chubby & Tubby Christmas tree.  A little Charlie Brown Christmas tree that truly did transform to something quite special in the end.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Little boys and their pockets


My little guy has discovered his pockets.  What a joy and adventure they are for him.  The first time he came walking up to me with both hands in his pockets, he had the biggest grin on his face.  Since that initial discovery, he's learned that he can put other things into his pockets besides his hands.  Mothers of boys can attest, when wash day comes, it's with trepidation as you reach your hand into your sons pockets.  So far I haven't found any snakes, frogs or lizards.  I've found rocks, dirt, grass, lettuce and the latest discovery, the missing tortilla.

Boys, always an adventure.